Anaphylaxis Policy

Anaphylaxis Policy
St Clare’s Primary School
Anaphylaxis is a severe, rapidly progressive allergic reaction that is potentially life threatening. The prevalence of allergies is increasing with approximately 1 in 20 Australian children having food allergy and approximately 1 in 50 having peanut allergy. St Clare’s is committed to providing a safe and supportive environment in which children at risk of anaphylaxis can participate equally in all activities. The school will engage parents/carers of children at risk of anaphylaxis to assess the risks and develop risk minimisation strategies for the child.
The key to prevention of anaphylaxis in schools is knowledge of the student who has been diagnosed as at risk, awareness of allergens, and prevention of exposure to those allergens. Partnerships between schools and parents/guardians are important in helping the student avoid exposure.
Adrenaline given through an adrenaline autoinjector (such as an EpiPen® or Anapen®) into the muscle of the outer mid thigh is the most effective first aid treatment for anaphylaxis.
The most common allergens in children are:
  • peanuts
  • eggs
  • tree nuts (e.g. cashews)
  • cow’s milk
  • fish and shellfish
  • wheat
  • soy
  • sesame
  • certain insect stings (particularly bee stings)
These procedures apply to:
  • All children diagnosed by a medical practitioner as being at risk of anaphylaxis
  • All children enrolled in the school including their parents/guardians
  • Relevant members of the service community (e.g. volunteers working in the school)
  • All staff
The Purpose
The aim of the guidelines and procedures is to:
  1. Minimise the risk of an anaphylactic reaction occurring at the school.
  2. Ensure members of staff are adequately trained to respond appropriately and competently to an anaphylactic reaction.
  3. Raise awareness about diagnosis throughout the school community through education and implementation.
  1. Prior to enrolment or as soon as an allergy is diagnosed, the school will develop an Individual Anaphylaxis Health Care Plan for the child in consultation with the child’s parents/guardians and appropriate health professionals.
  2. Whenever a child with severe allergies is enrolled at the school, or newly diagnosed as having a severe allergy, all staff will be informed of:
    1. The child’s name and class
    2. Where the child’s Action Plan will be located
    3. Where the child’s adrenaline autoinjector is locate
  3. New and relief/casual staff will be given information about children’s special needs (including children with severe allergies) during the orientation process.
  4. The school will discuss the provision of a Medic Alert bracelet for the child at risk of anaphylaxis with parents/guardians.
  5. Our school tuckshop will not sell food items containing nuts. This does not apply to foods labelled ‘may contain traces of nuts’. 
  6. Food is not allowed to be shared between children. 
  7. Awards of food/sweets will not be given that contain nut ingredients e.g. chocolates.
  8. Education for students on food allergies and healthy foods is incorporated into the school curriculum.
  9. Parents and guardians are asked not to include nuts and nut products, especially peanut butter and Nutella, in their child’s lunch box.
  10. We emphasise the importance of hygiene when eating food at home and at school – washing hands.
  11. Whilst the school can never entirely enforce or regulate what comes from home in each child’s lunch box, nor where foods contain traces of nut oil, we hope people will assist in working towards minimising the risks and looking at alternatives to nut products.
Individual Anaphylaxis Health Care Plan
  1. The child’s Individual Anaphylaxis Health Care Plan should be completed in consultation with the child’s parents/guardians. Such consultation includes:
    1. approval of the Plan
    2. consent to display the child’s Action Plan
    3. consent for the information contained within the Plan to be made available to both school staff and emergency medical personnel (if necessary
  2. The child’s Individual Anaphylaxis Health Care Plan must include information relating to the immediate transport to hospital in an ambulance after an anaphylactic reaction.
  3. The child’s Individual Anaphylaxis Health Care Plan will be placed in a prominent position. This will ensure it can be regularly read by school staff where the child may be present during the day. The need to display the child’s Action Plan will be fully discussed with the child’s parents/guardians and their authorisation obtained for this.
  4. All information on the child’s Individual Anaphylaxis Health Care Plan will be reviewed annually with the child’s parents/guardians to ensure information is current to the child’s developmental level. 
  5. The child’s Individual Anaphylaxis Health Care Plan will be reviewed prior to any special activities (e.g. excursions) to ensure information is current and correct, and any specific contingencies are pre-planned.
  6. It is understood that early recognition and prompt treatment for an anaphylactic reaction can be life-saving. Staff will therefore routinely review a child’s Action Plan to ensure they feel confident in how to respond quickly in an emergency.
  7. Parents/guardians are responsible for supplying the adrenaline autoinjector and ensuring that the medication has not expired.
  8. After each emergency incident, the Individual Anaphylaxis Health Care Plan will be evaluated to determine if the school’s emergency response could be improved. 
  9. The child’s adrenaline autoinjector (and any other medication), must be labelled with the name of the child and recommended dosage. Medication will be located in a position that is out of reach of the children, but readily available to school staff. Consideration will also be given to the need to keep the adrenaline autoinjector away from excessive light, heat or cold when deciding on a suitable location.
  10. The expiry date of the child’s adrenaline autoinjector will be included on the Individual Anaphylaxis Health Care Plan. School staff will check the adrenaline autoinjector regularly to ensure it is not discoloured or expired and therefore in need of replacement. Staff will advise the parents/guardians at the earliest opportunity if the adrenaline autoinjector needs to be replaced.
  11. Adrenaline autoinjectors are available in different dosages, namely:
    1. a smaller (junior) dosage of adrenaline for children between 10-20kg (1-5 years of age);
    2. a higher dosage of adrenaline for children over 20kg (or children over five years of age).
Staff training and Emergency Response
  1. Teachers and other school staff who have contact with the student at risk of anaphylaxis, are expected to undertake annual training in anaphylaxis management including how to respond in an emergency.
  2. At other times while the student is under the care or supervision of the school, including excursions, play time, camps and special event days, the Principal will ensure that there is a sufficient number of staff present who have up to date training and know how to recognise, prevent and treat anaphylaxis.
  3. Wherever possible, training will take place before the student’s first day at school. Where this is not possible, an interim plan will be developed in consultation with the student’s parents/guardians. 
  4. The school’s first aid procedures and student’s ASCIA Action Plan will be followed when responding to an anaphylactic reaction.
Risk Minimisation Strategies
  1. In the school environment, strategies used to reduce the risk of anaphylaxis for individual children will depend on the nature of the allergen, the severity of the child’s allergy and the maturity of the child.
  2. A child at risk of food anaphylaxis should only eat lunches and snacks that have been prepared at home or at the school under strictly supervised conditions. Children should not swap or share food, food utensils and food containers. 
  3. For some children with food allergy, contact with small amounts of certain foods (e.g. nuts) can cause allergic reactions. For this reason, all parents/guardians will be advised of specific food allergies and how they can assist the school minimise the risk of exposure to known allergens.
  4. School staff will regularly inspect for bee and wasp nests on or near the property and store garbage in well-covered containers so that insects are not attracted. 
  5. Particular care will be taken when planning cooking or craft activities involving the use of empty food packaging to avoid inadvertently exposing the child to allergens. The same level of care will be employed to outside activities.
  6. School staff will help the child at risk of anaphylaxis to develop trust and confidence that they will be safe while they are at the school by:
-         talking to the child about their symptoms to allergic reactions so they know how to describe these symptoms to a carer when they are having an anaphylactic reaction;
-         taking the child’s and their parent’s/guardian’s concerns seriously;
-         making every effort to address any concerns they may raise.
Education of Children
  1. School staff will talk to children about foods that are safe and unsafe for the anaphylactic child. They will use terms such as ‘this food will make ..... sick’, ‘this food is not good for .....’, and ‘..... is allergic to that food’. 
  2. Staff will talk about symptoms of allergic reactions to children (e.g. itchy, furry, scratchy, hot, funny).
  3. With older children, staff will talk about strategies to avoid exposure to unsafe foods, such as taking their own plate and utensils, having the first serve from commercially safe foods, and not eating food that is shared.
  4. School staff will include information and discussions about food allergies in the programs they develop for the children, to help children understand about food allergy and encourage empathy, acceptance and inclusion of the allergic child.
Reporting Procedures
  1. After each emergency situation the following will need to be carried out:
    •  Inform parents of the procedures undertaken.
    •  Staff involved in the situation are to complete an Incident Report, which will be countersigned by the person in charge of the school at the time of the incident;
    • File a copy of the Incident Report on the child’s file;
    • Inform Brisbane Catholic Education of the incident.

  2. Staff will be debriefed after each anaphylaxis incident and the child’s Individual Anaphylaxis Health Care Plan evaluated. Staff will need to discuss their own personal reactions to the emergency that occurred, as well as the effectiveness of the procedures that were in place. It is important to learn from each incident. 
  3. Time is also needed to discuss the exposure to the allergen and the strategies that need to be implemented and maintained to prevent further exposure.
Policy Published 1st May 2016